Connect with us
background

News

Scubaverse’s Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown appointed Bahamas Dive Ambassadors

Published

on

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown of Frogfish Photography, along with Adam Hanlon of Wetpixel, have been selected as Diving Ambassadors for the Islands of The Bahamas.

When authors and photojournalists, Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown, first visited The Bahamas as dive instructors in 2002, they did not expect that experience to come full circle.  The couple from Manchester, England have been appointed Diving Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas.  The historic announcement was made by Ellison Thompson, Deputy Director General, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA), in light of the couple’s outstanding works in shark and marine conservation, diving, travel, photography, journalism and their unwavering love for The Bahamas.

“This is a very special appointment for us,” said Thompson. “It signals our dual belief and commitment to sharing, protecting, preserving and promoting our beautiful environment and natural resources, which for us, are our pristine, crystal-clear waters and rich marine life.”

“Astronauts recently captured the waters of The Bahamas from outer space, and declared it to be the prettiest place on earth. Now, the world will also know of its astonishing underwater beauty, through Nick and Caroline’s appointment and work,” said Mr. Thompson.

The couple, who are both PADI and SSI Master dive instructors, have each conducted over 5,000 dives globally, but it is their dive on Tiger Beach in Grand Bahama that is their most memorable experience.

“We had been dreaming of diving with Tiger sharks for years and had tried at a number of different locations, globally.  While in Grand Bahama, on the only single day we had to make this dream a reality, we got into the water, despite inclement weather conditions and substantial current.

 We descended to the sandy seabed with twice our normal weighting and within a few seconds were approached, up-close, by three large female Tiger sharks, who swam in front of our cameras and over our heads.  We watched with amazement, as these magnificent predators entertained us,” said Caroline.

“There is so much to love about The Bahamas, but the thing that really stands out for us is that the waters surrounding the islands are a shark sanctuary. There are so few places in the world where shark protection has been taken so seriously and they are fully safeguarded. Just this alone, is part of what makes The Bahamas an exceptional place to dive. Sharks make for healthy eco-systems and coral reefs and it is amazing to be able to encounter so many different species in clear, blue, warm water. To be able to island hop, dive reefs and wrecks as well as relax on pristine white and pink beaches makes The Bahamas a truly magical place,” said Nick.

Over the years, Nick and Caroline have conducted many dive and underwater photography trips to The Bahamas and have provided news coverage of their experiences in Sport Diver, Wildlife Photography World, Scubaverse, and Dive Travel Adventures and have photographed all of the shark dives, reefs, and wrecks in The Bahamas, including in Grand Bahama, Bimini, Nassau, Abaco, Andros, Cat Island, Exuma and Harbour Island.

The multiple award-winning photographers and published authors have also won the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Photojournalist of the Year Award for their features on Shark Diving in The Bahamas.

“We are passionate about sharing our diving experiences in The Bahamas and already include it in all of our talks at dive shows, photo and dive clubs and in our talks to groups about marine conservation. Our articles about diving in The Bahamas have won numerous awards because our love for the islands shines through in our writing. We have featured The Bahamas in each of our diving books, and so this Dive Ambassador appointment is a perfect, natural progression for us to continue to promote diving in The Bahamas.”

The couple is currently writing a book on the history of diving in The Bahamas, and as Dive Ambassadors, they will work alongside officials of the BMOTA in promoting The Bahamas’ dive product, at tradeshows and on fam trips.

The Bahamas remains an unspoiled destination offering pristine, crystal clear turquoise waters, with visibility in some places exceeding 200 ft. in depth.  The country’s diverse dive experiences, ranging from reef to wreck and exploration of underwater caves to big animal encounters, are well known and have, over consecutive years, won top awards and recognition including Scuba Diving Magazine Readers Choice Awards for Best Big Animals, Best Overall Destination, Best Cave Diving, Best Snorkeling, Best Value, Best Wreck Diving, Best Wall Diving, Best Advanced Diving, Best Photography, Best Shore Diving, Best Macro Life and Best Health of Marine Life.

Now open for business, visitors can enjoy the peace, serenity and security provided in The Bahamas’ 700- island chain.

For further information and visitor entry requirements, visit www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.

News

Historical Submarine Prototype protected

Published

on

The wreck of an early British submarine known as HMS/m D1, which was the forerunner to the Royal Navy’s patrol submarines that boosted Britain’s defensive power during the First World War, has been granted protection by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

The wreck, off the coast of Dartmouth in Devon, was investigated in a project originated by U-boat historian Michael Lowrey, who was writing a book about First World War U boat losses. The wreck was identified by a team of technical divers who are skilled at diving at depths of over 40 metres, led by Steve Mortimer, diving from Wey Chieftain IV. They reported the discovery of HMS/m D1 to Historic England and it has now been protected by scheduling. This means divers can dive the wreck but its contents are protected by law and must remain in situ.

Multi-beam image of the newly- protected prototype of the D-Class submarine which was deliberately sunk off the coast of Dartmouth, Devon in 1918 and used as a target to test submarine detection equipment. Copyright Wessex Archaeology

HMS/m D1 was built by shipbuilding company Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria and was the secret prototype for the D-class, the Royal Navy’s first diesel powered submarine. Launched in 1908 and commissioned in September 1909, the D-class was a significant development on the C-class submarine, being larger and more powerful.

At the start of the First World War, HMS/m D1 was assigned to protecting the coast of Dover from enemy invasion before carrying out patrols outside of English territorial waters to monitor German shipping movements. In September 1917, HMS/m D1 joined the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla and a year later it was relegated to training duties. In October 1918, HMS/m D1 was decommissioned and scuttled- deliberately sunk. The submarine was used as a training target off the Devon coast for Royal Navy training exercises involving the detection of enemy submarines. The wreck sits upright and largely intact on the seabed.

Multi-beam image of the newly- protected prototype of the D-Class submarine. Copyright Wessex Archaeology

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: “The D-class submarine was superior to the C-class, with innovations that became integral parts of future Royal Navy submarines. These included diesel propulsion, twin propellers and a wireless telegraphy system which allowed the submarine to transmit and receive signals. This is a fascinating survival which deserves protection as an important part of our seafaring history.”

Lead Diver Steve Mortimer said: “Every diver dreams of identifying a historically important wreck.  Expecting to find the remains of a German U-boat, we were thrilled to discover a ground-breaking British submarine instead.  It’s tremendous that D1 is now protected but divers can still visit.”

Eight D-class submarines were built. HMS/m D2, HMS/m D3 and HMS/m D6 were sunk outside English territorial waters, while HMS/m D4, HMS/m D7 and HMS/m D8 were sold and scrapped in 1919. The wreck of HMS/m D5 is located off Lowestoft. Suffolk, and is protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

For more information, please visit www.historicengland.org.uk

Continue Reading

News

Tried & Tested: INON UWL 95- C24 Wide Angle Wet Lens

Published

on

The INON UWL 95- C24 is the latest wide angle wet lens released by INON and has been designed for compact cameras with zoom lenses that are 24mm at the wide end. The UWL-95 C24 has a maximum angle of view of 95° underwater. This can be increased up to 141° with the optional Dome Lens.

The lens has a versatile M67 screw mount and M52 screw mount, the M52 fitting is already built in. Because the M67 rings are screwed to the lens over this, they can’t come loose like a step up rings. Totally renewed optical design effectively suppresses flare/ghost even in backlit condition to provide sharp and high quality image.

Test Conditions

  • Location: Capernwray Quarry, UK
  • Visibility: 2-3m
  • Temperature: 9 degrees C
  • No of Dives: 1
  • Equipment Used: Canon S110 in Recsea housing
  • Test Equipment: INON UWL 95- C24 with Dome Lens Unit 111A and 67mm thread.
  • RRP of lens and accessories used: £667.98

Review

This was an eagerly awaited new product from INON – a wide angle wet lens that can be used with hugely popular compact cameras such as the Olympus Tough and the Sony RX100 range. Testing new equipment in less than ideal conditions is always a challenge, but it is also a bonus, as for many, these will be the conditions they will experience too. Testing a new lens on an unfamiliar camera system also makes this process harder, as you need time to adjust to the new system, even though that is not what you are testing. My first impressions of this lens, before getting it underwater, was that it is very well made.

As we descended I started to unscrew the lens to ensure that any air trapped between camera housing and lens was released. As long as you do not undo all the way this works perfectly, however with thick gloves, in cold water, I would not want to have to attach the lens onto the camera using the 67mm thread very often as it feels a little fiddly.

Using the UWL-95 C24 can dramatically reduce minimum focusing distance needed between photographer and subject. As the visibility on the testing day was only 2-3m this was very good news indeed and the lens focused on subjects that were virtually touching the lens. Be careful not to get too close to anything that might scratch the lens! The lens, with the additional dome gave a really wide field of view, perfect for wreck, diver, scenic and large marine life shots.

Whilst the lens feels quite heavy on the front of a small camera out of the water, I did not notice it at all on the dive which is great, as some big lenses can require floats or very strong wrists to make them workable. This is a simple grab and go lens that does not need any additional kit or know-how to use. Alas, due to my buddy having a catastrophic dry suit flood, I only got a single dive to try it out, but was impressed with it nonetheless.

Fortunately I am taking the lens up to Scotland to try out on my Olympus TG5 whilst snorkeling and wild swimming – so watch out for more about this lens next month.

For more information visit the INON website by clicking here.

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

More Less

Instagram Feed

Popular